With the news that President Joe Biden has pledged to end the United States’ “failed approach” on cannabis, thousands of people who were incarcerated for possession of the drug are poised to receive pardons.
“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives — for conduct that is legal in many states,” he declared in a series of tweets outlining new policy, including a promise to reevaluate how cannabis is classified on the federal level. At present, it’s a Schedule I substance, like heroin. (For reference, cocaine and meth are Schedule II.)
These actions are a major step toward the nationwide decriminalization of pot — and as America celebrates the changes to come, “Dank Brandon” is getting lots of love.
Dank Brandon is the latest evolution of a meme that has taken several twists and turns in the course of this administration. It began with the right-wing slogan “Let’s Go Brandon,” which took off in 2021 after a reporter claimed that a crowd at Talladega Superspeedway race chanting “Fuck Joe Biden” was actually cheering on the winning driver, Brandon Brown. Ever since, “Let’s Go Brandon” has been MAGA code for “Fuck Joe Biden” — a bumper-sticker sentiment not half as clever as conservatives seem to think.
Eventually, however, leftists amused by Republican fear-mongering over a supposedly radical Biden agenda co-opted the Brandon nickname and created “Dark Brandon.” In this permutation, Biden became an all-powerful leader, scoring win after win for liberals and crushing his enemies underfoot. In its exaggerated vision of a laser-eyed president, Dark Brandon content also parodied the QAnon movement’s faith in Donald Trump as a mystical god-emperor engaged in a war with the Deep State.
Finally, as he takes action to reshape drug law, Dark Brandon has become “dank” — a stoner adjective for fragrant, potent weed. And you know he only puffs on the good stuff. Our commander-in-chief is still the same omnipotent Brandon, but he’s never without a joint in hand.
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Sure, why not? Pardoning a huge number of citizens who were unjustly imprisoned for cannabis offenses — and wiping many criminal records — is downright dank. And whatever gripes we may have about Biden, it’s fun to hype him up for this win ahead of the midterm elections.
Of course, as we’ve seen, Biden’s identity in the fast-paced ecosystem of memes is always shifting. What kind of Brandon will appear next? That all depends on the strain he’s smoking.